Objective: To evaluate the 6-month change in cardiovascular (coronary heart disease) risk as a function of diet and drug therapy for mild hypertension.
Design: Collaborative randomized, controlled clinical trial to assess the efficacy of alternative regimens in treating mild hypertension.
Setting: Three university-based tertiary care centers—the Trial of Antihypertensive Interventions and Management (TAIM).
Patients: Six hundred and ninety-two men and women ages 21 to 65 years with diastolic blood pressure between 90 and 100 mm Hg and weight between 110% and 160% of ideal weight.
Measurements and Main Results: Patients stratified by clinical center and race were randomized into diet (usual, low sodium-high potassium, weight loss) and drug (placebo, chlorthalidone, and atenolol) groups resulting in nine diet plus drug combinations. The cardiovascular risk at 6-month follow-up was estimated relative to baseline in 692 participants using the Framingham Study model. Due to the blood pressure reduction, cardiovascular risk declined from baseline for all treatment groups (except the usual diet plus chlorthalidone group because of increased cholesterol levels). The relative cardiovascular risk at 6 months compared to baseline ranged from 0.83 in the weight loss plus atenolol subgroup to 1.03 in the usual diet plus chlorthalidone sub-group. The active drug plus weight loss groups showed the lowest relative cardiovascular risk at 6 months.
Conclusions: Mild hypertension was generally reduced to desirable levels within 6 months by monotherapy. Evaluating blood pressure changes together with the risk factors indicated a differential effect on overall cardiovascular risk depending on the diet and drug used. Dietary therapy, particularly weight reduction, was important adjunctive treatment in reducing overall cardiovascular risk.